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An Indispensable Support

As once again we celebrate our nation’s independence, it is good to remember our heritage, particularly leaders like George Washington. Retiring from public life at the end of his second term in 1796, he advised his countrymen in his farewell address to regard “religion and morality as indispensable supports to political prosperity.” He cautioned that “morality must be maintained by religion.” Too often, we mistake “religion” for relationship with Christ, but the General-President, like his contemporaries, saw them as one and the same, just as they would refer to God as Providence. Truly, the Lord “made all things” (Isaiah 44:24) including America. He “makes the knowledge of wise men foolish” (Isaiah 44:25), yet raises up shepherds who “shall fulfill all His purpose” (Isaiah 44:28). In other words, our key national leaders make a difference in the direction of our country, but the morality of our citizens undergirds the foundation through a vital relationship with Christ.

I have a print of the traditional picture of General Washington praying in the snows of Valley Forge. My father refinished a very old picture frame for it and gave it as a gift to me. Some question whether Washington “knelt in the snows of Valley Forge.” Given his character and convictions, he certainly prayed there in that desperate time which determined the future of our nation. He was a conscientious church member (a vestryman in his local Anglican parish for over twenty years and churchwarden on three occasions). As Commander of the Continental Army, he called on Congress to authorize the appointment of military chaplains and required church attendance by all soldiers “not engaged on actual duty.”

When he became president in 1789, he added the phrase, “So help me God,” which since then has become the customary oath repeated by all his successors. May we be like Washington and offer thanksgiving and prayer for help to “Almighty God.” Read Proverbs 8:13-17 and see how our leaders must govern and pray accordingly. While the English traditionally say, “God save the Queen,” we sing and pray, “God bless America.” Oh Lord, “save the land that we love, stand beside her and guide her with the light from above.”

Join us for our special Faith Family Freedom celebration this Wednesday night, as we not only remember our heritage, but hear wonderful testimonies from those who have emigrated here from Cuba, and others who have fought in our armed forces. Join with hundreds in making new friends, enjoying great food, and thanking God for our country.